How to predict performance following a high stress season.
Product selection and placement are essential to grower success. The challenge for the growing season ahead is to use good information during the 2024 product selection process. Why is it challenging? 2023 testing will have put all products through a ‘gauntlet atmosphere.’ The cold spring with inconsistent plant emergence impacted performance. The amount and timing of rainfall varied greatly within short distances. Corn growth stage during the high temperatures and the severity of drought all created huge product differences this fall. 2023 data will be a great performance predictor, if the 2024 growing season is similar. History can help us think about the present decisions in front of us. A few historical facts when looking at single location data can help understand the risk of using single year, single location data.
Historically, high stress seasons have had very low predictability for performance the following year. For instance, high stress seasons occurred in 1980, 1983, 1988, and 2012. Not one case in those four seasons was future performance predictable based off single year, single location data when the growing season was significantly different. Therefore, data compiled during the 2023 high stress season will not necessarily aid in your 2024 product selection.
1988 is a great example; Burrus BX45 was a 106 RM product with great drought tolerance. It outperformed the rest of lineup by tackling heat and drought. The following season, in a higher yielding environment, it was the lowest yielding hybrid in the same location. Fuller season products simply generated greater yield performance. Additionally, the lowest yielder in the 1988 test plot came back to be the plot winner in 1989!
Considering just one historical example, think of the potential consequences if you overreact to single year, single location data. The best predictor for future performance continues to be multiple year, multiple location data from your region. We recommend using your Burrus Seed Representative, the Burrus Field Agronomy staff, your own previous experience, and the MyFarms COP product placement program to make the best product selection for 2024.
written by Todd Burrus, Burrus Seed